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Sorenson found guilty of armed robbery

Published: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 4:00 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, April 17, 2014 12:21 a.m. CDT
Caption
Eric Sorenson is facing charges stemming from a Sept. 2, 2012, armed robbery at the Crystal Lake CVS. He's accused of robbing the pharmacist at gunpoint and making off with 300 Oxycodone pills.

WOODSTOCK – After an hour of deliberation, jurors Wednesday returned a guilty verdict for a 2012 armed robbery.

Eric Sorenson, 31, was determined to be the man who on Sept. 2, 2012, demanded at gunpoint oxycodone pills from the pharmacist at the Crystal Lake CVS. He made off with 300 pills. Sorenson, from Crystal Lake, could be sentenced to between 21 and 45 years in prison after a hearing June 4.

Earlier in the trial, his parents, Keith and Cindy Sorenson, testified that neither Eric nor the car seen fleeing the scene of the crime ever left their house the night the CVS was robbed.

Prosecutors said the Sorensons were being evasive on the stand and told jurors not to take their testimony seriously.

"They're trying to remember history in a manner that suits them," Assistant State's Attorney Robert Zalud said in his closing argument. "They're trying to remember history in a way that helps their kid."

Two CVS employees testified that a silver sedan with no license plates was speeding away from the store just after its pharmacy was robbed.

A Toyota Corolla matching that description was found in the driveway of the Crystal Lake home where Sorenson lived with his parents. When police found the vehicle, the license plate was attached with magnets.

Defense attorney Steve McArdle questioned a CVS employee's initial description of the vehicle, in which she drew for police a logo that looked more like a Mazda and told investigators that's what she believed the car to be.

"I'm having a hard time believing that we are supposed to believe that what she drew was a mistake," McArdle said in his closing argument. "... There's no question these two vehicles are similar size and shape ... but only one has the symbol [the witness] drew."

McArdle had little comment outside the courtroom Wednesday, other than saying his client was "very disappointed." Keith and Cindy Sorenson also declined to comment.

The evidence prosecutors presented overwhelmingly pointed to Eric Sorenson as the armed robber, Assistant State's Attorney Michael Combs said.

On the stand, Sorenson's former girlfriend positively identified him as the hooded, bearded man who also was wearing a hat and dark glasses and seen on a surveillance photograph. Prosecutors played jail tapes of Eric and Keith Sorenson talking about a missing gun, and they brought in witnesses who were working that night. A sweatshirt worn the night of the robbery was found in the Sorenson's home.

“This is not a complicated case. This is not a whodunit,” said Combs, who also is chief of the criminal division. “He did it. He’s the guy, and we’re going to prove it.”

McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather presided over the two-day trial.

Eric Sorenson has another criminal case pending in McHenry County in which he's charged with unlawful use of a weapon and weapon possession by a felon stemming from an unrelated incident. Keith Sorenson also is facing felony criminal charges alleging he unlawfully sold a firearm to Eric Sorenson.

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